Background and objectives: Outcome in intensive care can be categorized as mortality related or morbidity related. Mortality is an insufficient measure of ICU outcome when measured alone and length of stay may be seen as an indirect measure of morbidity related outcome. The aim of the present study was to estimate the incidence and predictive factors for intrahospitalar outcome measured by mortality and LOS in patients admitted to a surgical ICU.
Methods: In this prospective study all 185 patients, who underwent scheduled or emergency surgery admitted to a surgical ICU in a large tertiary university medical center performed during April and July 2004, were eligible to the study. The following variables were recorded: age, sex, body weight and height, core temperature (Tc), ASA physical status, emergency or scheduled surgery, magnitude of surgical procedure, anesthesia technique, amount of fluids during anesthesia, use of temperature monitoring and warming techniques, duration of the anesthesia, length of stay in ICU and in the hospital and SAPS II score.
Results: The mean length of stay in the ICU was 4.09 +/- 10.23 days. Significant risk factors for staying longer in ICU were SAPS II, ASA physical status, amount of colloids, fresh frozen plasma units and packed erythrocytes units used during surgery. Fourteen (7.60%) patients died in ICU and 29 (15.70%) died during their hospitalization. Statistically significant independent risk factors for mortality were emergency surgery, major surgery, high SAPS II scores, longer stay in ICU and in the hospital. Statistically significant protective factors against the probability of dying in the hospital were low body weight and low BMI.
Conclusions: In conclusion, prolonged ICU stay is more frequent in more severely ill patients at admission and it is associated with higher hospital mortality. Hospital mortality is also more frequent in patients submitted to emergent and major surgery.